WASHINGTON, D.C.–Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination for the Supreme Court has made her the target of GOP scorn this week. The confirmation hearings have seen numerous attacks on her character. Among them, Senator Josh Hawley highlighted Jackson’s allegedly “soft on crime” track record, while Lindsey Graham brought her Christian faith into question, and none of the conservative senators could stop buzzing about child porn — a topic many of them are intimately familiar with.
Amidst the bad blood and slander, a tender moment occurred that defied party politics. Texas Senator Ted Cruz put a baby book on display. “It’s called Antiraisin Bamboo,” started Cruz, attempting to read the title of Antiracist Baby, a popular 2020 children’s book and the subject of critical race theory critics. What began as an attempted “gotcha” moment, soon evolved into something sweeter. Unable to read much of the text he sought to highlight, Cruz asked Judge Jackson’s assistance with sounding out some of the multi-syllable words. The experience was heartfelt and teachable for the Texan, though he couldn’t quite muster the competency to get through certain words. “I’m sorry Judge Jackson. I’ve come a long way today, but those three-syllable words go over my greasy head.”
After exhausting himself through the first several pages, Cruz kindly requested that Judge Jackson read the rest of the book to him. She obliged, and when the reading concluded, Ketanji quieted the rest of the room, gently indicating to others that Ted had fallen asleep. When Senator Cruz woke up, he announced his refusal to vote for Judge Jackson’s confirmation but admitted that “I’m sorry Ms. Jackson. I may have been wrong about reading. It can be nice when you know some of the words.”